As we move into the colder months, the echo of coughing and sneezing can be heard from virtually every kind of business. As you attempt to ward off these unwanted germs, consider these top tips to help keep your immunity high!
- Keep warm
An ‘oldie but goldie’ in terms of keeping away those germs is to wrap up warm! A sudden drop in temperature as we move into the colder months means our bodies aren’t prepared for the frostier air and you’ll be more likely to catch a cold if you avoid layering up.
- Wash your hands
Dr. Payne, an associate professor of rhinology in America, says: “It takes a good scrub with soap and water to actually rub off a virus.” 20 seconds is enough to make sure you get any persistent germs off of your hands, but don’t forget to dry them thoroughly too as wet hands are more likely to spread germs.
- Avoid touching your face
You’re 41% more likely to develop a cold if you’re constantly touching your eyes, mouth or nose than those who don’t, according to a 2013 study in the Journal of Occupational Health. So, keep your hands at bay to keep the germs away this winter.
- Take vitamins and herbs
The herb Echinacea is commonly used to boost the immune system and ward off colds and flu – but it also helps to heal bacterial and viral infections. The herb can be bought over the counter at most pharmacies, health shops and supermarkets as a liquid or tablet.
Daily multivitamins are also popular during the colder months as they help to make up for any shortfall in nutrients that you might not be getting if you don’t eat a wholesome diet with plenty of fruit or vegetables. However, before you consider taking any supplements, you should speak to a healthcare specialist such as your doctor.
- Drink lots
8 glasses of water are the recommended daily amount you should be drinking in order to keep yourself hydrated. If you’re drinking the right amount then you should be able to keep your body clear of infections, or at least minimise the intensity of them.
Regular exercise not only keeps your circulation flowing, but it also increases the amount of NK cells (natural killer) released into our bodies – which help fight against colds and flu. Exercise can also be helpful in opening up stuffy nasal passages, which in turn relieves pressure in your sinuses.
- Sleep well
Lack of sleep prevents your immune system functioning as well as it should, leaving you more at risk of catching colds and infections. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 8-10 hours per night of sleep for those aged 14-17, and 7-9 hours for older adults. Make getting an adequate amount of sleep one of your top priorities.
Keep these top tips handy during the winter months to help avoid unwanted illnesses and keep on top form!